The Trainer

“We rotate our lunch breaks through the week, so sometimes you get stuck taking them too early or too late, but sometimes it works out just right.” Dave grinned and nodded as he opened the refrigerator door in the break room. Jeremy nodded back. He guessed this time was just right.

Jeremy had done little that morning, but he’d been observing Dave’s meticulous work on the assembly line so intently that his body felt stiff. “There are some soda machines and snack machines,” Dave said, reaching into the back of the bottom shelf and pulling out a brown paper bag. “Some of the guys go out for lunch but it’s a bad habit. You spend half your break in traffic. I’d rather bring my own.” He gave a pat to the bottom of his weighted sack. “Besides, I don’t like to spend money while working to get it. You know?”

“Yeah. Makes sense,” Jeremy said. He felt like he’d said it twenty times that morning.

“I brought extra. Knew I’d be training today.” Dave sat down and removed two sandwiches, two oranges, and two Little Debbies–the peanut butter kind. “You like ham?”

“Ham sounds good.” Jeremy sat across from Dave, and Dave divvied out the food.

“I make them before I go to bed. That way I just grab them from the fridge before I leave. One less thing. You know?”

“Yeah. Makes sense.”

They both had their sandwiches unwrapped, their oranges half peeled, when Dave withdrew a single can of pop from the paper bag. “I didn’t know what kind of soda you liked. I figured you could get one from the machine, for today.”

“Yeah. Makes sense.” Jeremy stood and went to the pop machine. As he got a pair of dollars out of his wallet and fed them in, he wondered if Dave had been willing to guess about the ham but not the pop because he wanted to provide an illustration of the money-saving benefit of bringing a pop from home. Jeremy wondered if he were still being trained.


Thanks for reading! This was an old flash fiction piece I reworked a bit to post here. If you liked it, please pass the link to my blog along to a friend. Thank you!


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